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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What does an electrical inspection agency do? What is an underwriter's certificate?

How can I schedule an Inspection?

Where is arc fault protection required residentially?

Are smoke detectors required in a bedroom? Where should the smoke detector be placed?

Two Wires Under a Single Terminal...can you see the violation?

Replacing Nongrounding-Type Receptacles....can you see the violation?

What does and electrical inspection agency do?
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The electrical inspection agencies are all private companies hired by an electrician or homeowner that performs electrical inspections.  An electrician cannot perform electrical inspections; it has to go through an electrical inspection agency for several reasons.

1. The electrical inspection agency has to maintain a higher level of liability insurance in case something happens that most electricians do not and will not carry.

2. The towns have to give approval for the agency to perform inspections in the area. The agency seeks approval through the building department, once the chief building inspector reviews the application it goes to the town board for their approval.

3. Inspectors are continually going to school in order to interpret the National Electrical Code in order for people to understand the meaning and the intent of the code.

4. At NYS Electrical Inspections Inc. our inspectors do not perform actual work, electrical, or side jobs.

5. The term underwriter is a generic term that came about from the New York Board of Fire Underwriters Bureau of Electricity (NYBU).  The NYBU started in the late 1800ís as an insurance company. With electrical installations starting to be commonplace, and with no regulations in place for electricians, electrical fires were beginning to occur. Since the NYBU had to pay claims because they insured many of the properties, they had to form an electrical agency in order to protect their profit margins.

How do I Schedule an Inspection with NYS Electrical Inspections?
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Order your inspection online

Fill out the form by hand and mail or fax it to NYS Electrical Inspections:
Download In Microsoft Word Format
Download In PDF Format

Where is Arc Fault required residentially?
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210.12 Arc- Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection.
(A) Definition: Arc- Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection (AFCI). A device intended to provide protection from the effects of arc faults by recognizing characteristics unique to arcing and by functioning to de-energize the circuit when an arc fault is detected.

2014 National Electrical code NFPA 70 210.12 requires the following areas to have arc fault protection: all 15 and 20 ampere branch circuits supplying outlets installed in dwelling units.
- family room
- kitchen
- laundry areas
- dining rooms
- living rooms
- parlors
- libraries
- dens
- bedrooms
- sunrooms
- recreation rooms
- closets
- hallways
- or similar rooms or areas
This includes the lights, outlets, and smoke detectors
Area that donít require arc fault protection:
- bathrooms
- outdoors
- unfinished basements
 
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Are Smoke Detectors Required in a Bedroom?
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Every bedroom requires one smoke detector inside the room and a smoke detector out side of the bedroom hardwired interconnected. What the term hardwire means is that all the smoke detectors are connected to an electrical power source. To interconnect them it must be connected with a 3- wire, so that when one smoke detector sounds off they all go off. The smoke detector located outside of the bedroom can fulfill the requirement for several bedrooms unless the hallway is over 40 feet in length than install a second smoke detector one on each end. The smoke detector must be 3 feet from any fan (edge of blades), vent, or ac return.

Locations smoke detectors are required:

- one on each floor of house including basement.
- one in each bedroom.
- one located outside of a bedroom.

Recommended locations to avoid:

- garages
- kitchens
- near furnaces and gas hot water heaters
- near vents, heating or cooling returns, and fans (edge of blades)
- attics
- dusty areas
- fluorescent lights

Carbon monoxide detectors are needed on every floor with a bedroom or inside a bedroom with a fuel fired appliance (ex. fireplace) and the basement when a fuel fired appliance (ex oil burner, gas hot water) are located. A combo smoke/carbon detector can be used on all floors.

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NYS Electrical Inspections
278 Indian Head Rd
Kings Park, NY 11754
T: (631) 466-4235
F: (631) 460-9192